A Collected Interview:
What inspired you to become a blogger?
After college, I got into advertising and pretty quickly realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I started a personal blog as a creative outlet while I was trying to figure out what I did actually want to do. Once I realized that writing was my true passion, I started taking on freelance assignments on the side. So blogging helped me figure that out AND helped me keep from going crazy while I was doing work that had become pretty soul killing for me.
What inspired you to make menswear your main focus?
Menswear happened entirely by accident. During the time I was building up my freelance portfolio, a friend of mine started up a men’s clothing business and asked if I’d want to write a weekly column for his site. He just wanted content, and I wanted to write as much as I could. I told him I didn’t really know anything about men’s clothes, and he told me, “That’s cool; just write about what you like to see guys wearing.” That seemed simple enough, and as it turns out, I had lots of opinions about the clothes I liked on guys. Eventually, the column became popular enough that we both agreed that it didn’t make sense for it to appear on his site anymore, so I spun it off into its own thing and gradually started adding more and more content.
Describe the feeling you get when men tell you how much you’ve help them dress and feel better.
Oh my gosh, it’s the best! Seriously. The emails I get from readers telling me, “All my co-workers said how great I’ve been looking lately,” or, “I asked this girl out on a date who, six months ago, I would have thought was out of my league, but now I’ve got all this confidence from dressing better,” I mean, it’s amazing. I feel really fortunate to be in a position where I can help guys help themselves. I always say that Style Girlfriend isn’t about fashion, it’s about STYLE - and style isn’t just about clothes. It’s about waking up every day and choosing to live with intention. That extends from the food you decide to put in your body, how you take care of it through exercise, the passion you put into your career, and, yes, the clothes you wear. Style Girlfriend is just about reminding guys it’s worth it to stop and say, “Do I want to wear the ratty old jeans or the khakis?” From there, it becomes, “Do I want to run two miles on the treadmill, or can I run four?” and “Should I order in or finally learn to cook something for myself?” “Do I want to wear these khakis rumpled, or should I iron them first?” Women want to see a man continuing to take that next step to better himself.
What 5 items should every man have in his closet?
Hmm, can I have 7? It’s my lucky number…
1. a navy or grey suit
2. dark rinse, straight leg jeans
3. a white oxford shirt
4. the perfect crewneck white tee
5. white or light blue dress shirt with a spread collar
6. v-neck sweater in a neutral color
7. a signature jacket (harrington, mac, leather, peacoat, field jacket…)
(Shoes, of course, deserve their own list)
How has NYC shaped the way you look at the world?
It’s made me more willing to push boundaries - or even better, refuse to acknowledge they exist. I was always the craziest dresser among my friends in high school, but when I came out to New York, I realized how tame my style actually was. It really made me realize how fluid the parameters are. What’s crazy in Wisconsin isn’t crazy here in New York. And similarly, the opportunities available to me there aren’t necessarily the same ones here. I love Wisconsin and am always happy to get back (as I type this, I’m on a plane on my way there for a week-long visit!), but I think it’s good to get away from where you’re from. It doesn’t have to be New York, anywhere you go that’s not familiar will open your eyes to the world in a really new and positive way.
And that’s why I am always encouraging of guys who say, “Well no one else dresses like this where I live.” I say, who cares? Dress better than everyone else and let them be jealous. If they try to make fun of you, know it’s only because they wish they could look as good as you. And if you move to a city that’s more trendy (or at least, encouraging of fashion), you won’t have to play catch-up with your wardrobe.
What tips do you have for men looking to refine their style?
Your tailor is your best friend. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on the best designer clothes. You can buy a dress shirt from H&M for $30, take it to a tailor and have it taken in a bit or whatever. For ten more bucks, it will look better on you than a $300 shirt that fits improperly.
How was it working the Dan (The Style Blogger) and his team?
Great! Dan and I have very similar viewpoints about style, namely that it’s not an exclusive club. Sometimes menswear sites can be intimidating, from a cost standpoint, and just from a trendiness standpoint. He and I both believe that it’s about looking “good” not necessarily looking “cool” and it’s certainly not about wearing the “right” labels. It’s about wearing whatever looks and feels right for you.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
I’m doing more video content on Style Girlfriend this year, and I really enjoy it, so I’m hoping to do more. As much as I love writing, it’s fun to be able to reach a larger audience, whether that’s through YouTube or on television or what have you.
Do you have any future projects or collaborations you’re excited about?
I’m excited about everything right now! There’s a lot coming up with Style Girlfriend, so definitely stay tuned.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
For guys - and at the price points I personally can afford - I like J.Crew, AG Jeans, Rag & Bone, Saturdays NYC, Uniqlo, Shades of Grey, Randolph Engineering… Recently, I’ve become totally obsessed with this cool soccer brand I just discovered called Bumpy Pitch; they have these sweatshirts that look really cool but are so, sooo comfortable. I have one in a smaller size and wear it all the time.
What’s a typical day like for Megan?
There isn’t one! This month, I’ve been in five different cities - and counting. I have to remember to give myself breaks, because sometimes it’s easy to think that because I shut my computer down at three to go cover an event that starts at 5 or 6, I’m not getting in enough “work” time. But all of that stuff is just as much work as when I’m slogging away with next week’s posts.
Who’s your favorite best-dressed male celebrity?
I think Aziz Ansari always looks great. He’s a smaller guy, and he always wears clothes that are perfectly tailored for him. And he does his stand-up in suits, which I love of course.
Who’s your icon?
What a great question, and I wish I had a quick answer! I really respect anyone who has made their own way. Laurel Touby, who founded the website Mediabistro, is someone I really look up to as a female entrepreneur in the online space. Even though she’s younger than me, Leandra Medine from Man Repeller is a great example of someone with a really creative idea and a strong point of view who had a business plan and came out of the gate so strong. My friend Rembert Browne, who writes for Grantland, inspires me to constantly be checking in with myself and making sure I’m writing in my voice. The best compliment I receive from readers is, when they meet me, and tell me, “You talk just like you write!” I want my readers to feel like we’re having a conversation, so that’s always gratifying when it seems to be working.
What keeps you inspired?
Getting away from in front of the computer! I get my best inspiration for stories just from living life. A friend will tell me about a disastrous first date where the guy showed up in a stained t-shirt and zero confidence, or I’ll see a guy on the street wearing a shirt and tie in an interesting color combination that I hadn’t thought of before. I also get a lot of inspiration for stories from women’s magazines and sites. Women’s fashion sites tend to be more interesting to me, because they incorporate more brands at a price point I can relate to than men’s sites and magazines. Sometimes it seems like they’re all pushing Aldens and Tom Ford suits - stuff in the $three-zero’s range. That’s great, but I can’t afford stuff like that (not yet, anyway) so I don’t want to assume my reader can. I love mixing a piece from Target with a piece from Band of Outsiders with shoes from Florsheim. It’s all about incorporating lots of ideas and inspirations.
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